The Hawks, desperately searching for their first victory since they defeated Bury St. Edmunds on March 11th, welcome London Irish Wild Geese to Dry Leas this Saturday for the ever popular Ladies Day, kick -off 3.pm. It promises to be an exciting day in every respect with the Irish third from bottom in Division 2 (South) fighting hard to avoid relegation.
The Hawks had a close game against them earlier in the season, holding on to win 24-17. The strength of the Wild Geese is in their backs. Despite having not been able to get quality possession from their forwards in most encounters, they have two of the leading try scorers in the league with wing/full back George Owen as leading scorer with 28 tries, ably supported by Reon Joseph with 18.
They have won just 8 of their 28 matches to date with a further two to play. Three teams will be relegated and their total of 51 points makes them just 11 points above the bottom side Broadstreet who have 33. The Irish will bring good support for their team to ensure they get an escape from the tremors of relegation and with it being Ladies Day, they are sure to make it a lively party.
The Hawks are still hoping to finish in top six in the league but without a win in recent games, have had to rely on bonus points to maintain their current position and favourable results from the teams just below them.
The team selected is familiar to that which has played for them in recent games. Dave Manning, a member of the successful RAF team that recently defeated the Army in the Inter Services tournament recently, is absent from the front row.
In contrast, the backs have an end of season flavour. Regular members, Simon Perry, Sam Portland and Connor Hayhow, a frequent scorer of tries in recent games, including a brace against Worthing last week, are not listed and Joe Butler is nominated on the bench. Young guns, Toby Howe, Will Janes and Toby Venner all start, hoping to take advantage of the firm surface and hopefully end the recent losing sequence.
Henley Hawks v London Irish Wild Geese (3pm)
1. Brad Cook, 2. Tom Emery, 3 George Primett, 4. Dave Clements (capt), 5. David Hyde, 6. Tommy Haynes, 7. Scott White, 8. Marcus Lowe, 9 .George Jackson, 10. Toby Howe, 11. Toby Venner, 12. Liam O’Neill, 13. Will James, 14. Xavier Andre, 15. Jack Robinson.
16. John Wunder, 17. Keiron Ball, 18. Max Berry, 19. Tom Hall, 20. Joe Butler